Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) Polygraph is a fraud (Read 36582 times)
Paste Member Name in Quick Reply Box Mr. Truth
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Polygraph is a fraud
Aug 5th, 2003 at 6:37am
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The polygraph is a complete fraud. How do I know this? Two ways: when I was telling the truth and being scored "deception indicated," and when I got on board with TLBTLD and essentially lied on an exam and was scored "no deception indicated."

I'm a sex offender. I molested my daughter. For those of you who expect me to minimize what I did, sure, I'll engage in that just a little bit: whatever the worst things you can think of is not what I did, but what I did was 100% inappropriate and my fault. I took responsibility for what I did from the very beginning and stood up to take my whacks. I can assure you there is nothing you can say to make me feel worse than what I've done to myself in that regard. What a colossal blunder. It cost me a military career and over a million dollars in lifetime retirement benefits. It cost my family its husband and father. I did jail time and probation, which has been successfully completed. All I'm waiting for now is the scarlet letter and fame on the internet.

[pausing 30 seconds for the obligatory slams, slurs, put downs, condemnation, etc. Let me know when you're finished so I can continue this post.]

The first few years of probation was a never ending stream of inconclusive, pass-fail mix, or all deceptive, and that was when I was telling the truth. I was "consequenced" as an incentive to perform better (i.e., pass the test). You can only begin to imagine the discouragement from being told you were being deceptive when you're telling the truth. That's one of the worst injustices for a lot of people - being accused of lying when you know you are telling the truth.

It was and is a common practice for polygraphers to try and elicit admissions and confessions during the post-test interview. Those attempts were made over a week later when I'd call the polygrapher to ask how I did. "What were you thinking about this question, Mr. So-and-so?" Being naive, I admitted some totally unrelated thought, whether it was something about a book I had just read, or a movie, a song stuck in my mind, whatever. "Okay, I'll factor that [what I admitted or disclosed] into the scoring and see if it makes a difference. That is an out-and-out lie.

Even on my last one, the polygrapher asks me if there is anything I want to say, better confess now, the test looks iffy either way. Nope, I really don't have anything else to say. Results of the test: passed.

So, I'd like to thank the polygraphers who scored me as being deceptive for getting me on board with this site. The countermeasures work like a charm. In fact, I improved on the technique by using a thought and trying to create that feeling you get when you almost trip or fall, that little adrenalin rush you get. It's like the "Ohmigod I'm on fire!" technique. Pick a control question to use it on, spike the question (don't go too overboard, it may take a test or two to calibrate your reaction), and relax and tell the truth on the remaining questions.

Embellish the reaction by talking about that control question in between the test panels or at the end of the exam. "Have you ever lied to anyone in a position of authority?" Of course I have, just as everyone else has. "No, I mean something really serious." In my case, no. So at the end of the exam, gee, I felt bad about kind of having to lie to my supervisor about why I needed the time off [the four hours it takes to take the exam], even though I have the hours and I can take them whenever I want.

I'm not advocating lying on relevant questions, but on the other hand, the less you disclose, the less ammunition there is to be used against you.

The polygraph is a complete fraud. What the process boils down to for most people is a gut check. You want to tell the truth. Most people feel bad about lying. But, when you've been screwed over and over for false positives, you need to do what it takes to pass. If it means using countermeasures to protect your self-interests, then do what you have to do.

The science behind the polygraph, well, let me start over. The attempt to apply scientific principles to the use of the polygraph is just that: an attempt. Much the same way Marston and Wonder Woman's lasso of truth are related. That is so ironic, the history behind the polygraph and its concocter (inventor is too generous a term), and I'd really be laughing at the irony if it hadn't cost me thousands of dollars in repeated exams that, in fact, were quite unnecessary.

So, yeah, I'm on board with helping to bring about the end and demise of this voodoo science.
« Last Edit: Aug 6th, 2003 at 3:12am by Mr. Truth »  
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Paste Member Name in Quick Reply Box Tough Cop
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Re: Polygraph is a fraud
Reply #1 - Aug 5th, 2003 at 4:53pm
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George you should be very proud of this new recruit.  Or is this Gino using a pseudonym so as to be able to tell his story. Embarrassed
  
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Re: Polygraph is a fraud
Reply #2 - Aug 5th, 2003 at 4:59pm
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Lessons learned: Polygraphs and Polygraphers are easily duped and provide little or no real protection in the probation/parole process.

Unless, any polygraphers would like to challenge this anecdotal information as false?
  
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Paste Member Name in Quick Reply Box Mr. Truth
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Re: Polygraph is a fraud
Reply #3 - Aug 5th, 2003 at 5:04pm
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Yes, it would have been so much better if I had kept on eating consequences for failing polygraph examinations because of how I test/perform on those charades of science. Is that your concept of justice and efficacy of the device?

Gee, Tough Cop, what about the people more like you - the fine, upstanding, educated (if you count a criminal justice major as education), justice for all and the American way - who wanted to be something more, but were denied the opportunity because of a failed polygraph? All it takes is for you to fail one test, then let's see your reaction.
  
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Re: Polygraph is a fraud
Reply #4 - Aug 6th, 2003 at 3:03am
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Mr. Truth,
I too am a sex offender, but my offense was indecent exposure at a drunken frat party.  Some prissy Sorority sister decided to call the campus police and next thing I know I am a sex offender going to weekly groups listenting to guys like you talk about how they molested their daughters.  It sucks to say the least.
But I am off probation this month and my recorded is being wiped clean.
I have to admit, though, when it comes to someone who has molested their daughter, sure the polygraph is bogus, but who cares?  As long as it scares guys who molest into at least trying to be honest, that is what matters.
Now, when it comes to lesser crimes like exposure, having public sex with a consenting partner, public masturbation, or some other non-violent crime, then I think those people shouldn't be subjugated to the psuedo-science of the polygraph.
But with rapists and molesters...I say give it to them weekly, and make them pay for it out of their pockets.
  
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Re: Polygraph is a fraud
Reply #5 - Aug 6th, 2003 at 3:18am
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OkieBoy,

Sounds like you got a lot out of counseling. You sound pretty typical of the offender who minimizes what he or she did. Sounds like you have some other issues, but this isn't the forum for that. This is about the unjustified use of something that is unreliable. Does it really matter what the circumstances are surrounding the reason why someone has to take a polygraph?

I like your cognitive distortions ("I'm special, the rules don't apply to me" and "What I did isn't that bad"). So, we'll just bend the rules of fairness to suit our purposes, is that it? If the process/procedure is wrong, what makes it okay to use it when you think it is convenient? That line of thinking is referred to as hypocrisy.
  
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Re: Polygraph is a fraud
Reply #6 - Aug 6th, 2003 at 9:05am
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Mr. Truth,
Don't be bitter.
It's typical of molesters like yourself to try and bring those who haven't committed such horrific offenses to your own level.  In a way, its a self-defense mechanisim all its own...it's your way of minimalizing your own offense to try and make the most you can out of other's offenses.  The other molesters and rapists I have to sit with in group are just like you, so I'm used to it.
Well, guess what?  You can talk about cognitive distortions all you want, because in short of a month I will be off probation and my record will be wiped clean.
Obviously the Judge in my case thought lightly enough of the offense to give me a deffered sentence.
So your observation of my attituded "It's not that bad" would be more than just my attitude...it would be fact.
Have a nice day! Grin

  
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Re: Polygraph is a fraud
Reply #7 - Aug 6th, 2003 at 4:22pm
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Mr. Truth and OkieBoy,
Nothing in this world is "black and white". Everything is varying shades of gray. Discussions about these varying degrees with regard to sex offenses are not "justifying" or "minimalizing", they are merely statements of facts. And each offense and offender must be judged by these facts, not by "labels".

Mr. Truth,
Molesting your own daughter is a horrid, inexplicable event. But I would imagine that you would be "minimalizing" your actions if you had been drugged out of your mind on crystal meth at the time. And rightfully so. While it wouldn't make the crime any less heinous, it would provide some explanation for why you did it.
You seem to have done quite well in your therapy, but I think you have gone overboard on some aspects of it. You have bought into the theory that every person convicted of a sex offense is a monster who won't admit it. That's like telling an 85 year-old man who pulled the life-support plug on his wife of 60 years to end her suffering is no different than Jeffery Dahmer. After all, they're both murderers, aren't they?
Lighten up. Not every "sex offender" is the twisted monster you are.
  

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Re: Polygraph is a fraud
Reply #8 - Aug 6th, 2003 at 6:47pm
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Thank you sir, please don't give up on me. You're right, there are shades of grey to many things, and I'm not here to debate whose crime is worse or less, relative to me or anyone else. I asked in the original post, and even provided space for it, for you (the generic you, not you specifically) to go ahead and vent/dump on me. I see that I should have allotted more time and space for that so the name calling could be over and done with so that discussion about the validity of polygraph testing could continue based on the merits of the argument.

I couldn't care less what you think about me because of what I did. I suppose I could take comfort by playing the OkieBoy game by pointing out that I had to sit in groups listening to people who did things way worse than what I did, many times over, to many more people. Those are the "real" sick, twisted monsters, aren't they? Let's gang up on them and call them names, and make them take the polygraph every week at their own expense (at whose expense was it when OkieBoy took his?), because, you know, damn, they deserve to be abused by the polygraph, right?

There are people who screw up, and there are people who are screw-ups. I freely admit I screwed up, and I am far from a screw-up. Feel better now?
  
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Re: Polygraph is a fraud
Reply #9 - Aug 6th, 2003 at 8:09pm
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Mr. Truth,
Perhaps I was too strong? I don't know you, your daughter or the circumstances surrounding your offense, so perhaps I was.
Personally, I know sex offenders who would think nothing of raping a 4 year-old, sex offenders who simply left the bathroom door open while they relieved themselves, and everyone in between. Some are "monsters", some are not. Some know they have a problem, and some the only problem they have is that the general public thinks they have one.
My apologies if I was too rough. That out of the way, let's bring this back to the relevant issue of polygraphy.

In you examinations, were you asked specific questions about contact, or were they more of the "have you thought about..?" variety?
Do you happen to know how many people had their probation/parole violated for "failing" the polygraph in the timeframe you were subjected to them? A rough guess?
Do you recall having anybody in group that you personally felt may actually have been "innocent"?
Did your polygrapher ever ask the question "did you commit the crime you were convicted of?"?
  

"Most of the things worth doing in the world had been declared impossible before they were done." &&U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis D. Brandeis
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Re: Polygraph is a fraud
Reply #10 - Aug 6th, 2003 at 8:48pm
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Thanks.

A standard test consists of eight questions. One or two fluff ones (are you sitting in a chair, are the lights on), two to three control questions (have you ever lied to anyone in a position of authority, would you lie to get yourself out of serious trouble, have you lied to your fill_in_the_blank about what you've reported to him or her, have you tried to blame someone else for something you did, and so on), and then three to four relevant/reportable questions - the ones that really matter as far as what therapists/parole/probation officers are looking for.

The relevant questions tended to have a theme. Themes included sexual contact, use of pornography, use of something else, and whatever the therapist/PO felt was an item of interest. So, the "theme" questions would overlap in terms of area of coverage.

Take sexual contact. You would be asked questions like, "Have you had sexual contact with anyone other than your wife?" "Have you attempted sexual contact with anyone other than your wife?" "Have you had sexual contact with anyone under the age of 18?" "Have you had sexual contact with anyone other than what you've reported to me today?"

You could be scored deceptive on one question and scored non-deceptive on another question, where the questions are mutually exclusive.

Never had a question about whether or not I did what I did - I mean, that was the price of admission into counseling, having to admit what you did, so there was never any question about that.

Anyone who claimed to be innocent? Not where I went because of the price of admission mentioned above. But that reminds me of The Shawshank Redemption - why are you in here? "Because my lawyer screwed me!"

I've seen people terminated for failing to make progress on polygraphs, but that was generally for history-related exams. I saw lots of people get extended on probation because of not having passed the poly before the period of supervision expired. Virtually all of those peope were cowed into "agreeing" to be extended for anywhere from six months to two years. PO's cowed the people because the clients were afraid to take their chances before a judge. Of course, that begs the issue of whether or not results of polygraph can be used in those cases.  By law, they aren't, but they really are. That's analogous to "agreeing" to take the exam, as if you really have any choice in the matter.

Any polygrapher in here or elsewhere who claims to have a 90-plus percent or better detection rate, or who can easily spot countermeasures, or who thinks the polygraph is reliable in terms of detecting deception is a mf-ing liar, and that is about as plain and simple as I can put it.
  
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Re: Polygraph is a fraud
Reply #11 - Aug 6th, 2003 at 9:00pm
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My husband just recently had his therapy terminated and his probation revoked for failing his 4th polygraph.  He has never passed one, even when telling the truth.  He even shows deceptive on his name, and address. 
I know things like high blood pressure can affect a polygraph.  Does anyone know if ADHD can?
  
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Re: Polygraph is a fraud
Reply #12 - Aug 6th, 2003 at 9:34pm
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Mr. Truth,
Florida's "standard" test is similar, except that there is a 200 item questionnaire that the examinee fills out regarding everything from "did you watch 60 Minutes last Sunday" to "did you molest your dog last night". One of the relevant questions of course is, "did you truthfully answer all the questions". Show a response, and the examiner gets to pick which one of the 200 questions you were "deceptive" on. As far as I know, Florida is the only state using this method.
The question of guilt or innocence is one that seems to be a point of contention on both sides. Some people in sex offender therapy are actually innocent, yet they are ordered to say they are guilty or risk getting kicked out and subsequently violated. So if the polygraph is "all that", why not ask the question? Suppose a person denying their guilt is proven wrong by the polygraph. There goes one denial mechanism out the window. On the other hand, suppose it shows the offender is telling the truth? How do you deal with it then? Maybe the poor guy really is innocent. I think the reason you don't see the question is because the polygraphers and P.O.'s know that the polygraph can be manipulated at will by a person such as yourself to show innocence that is "fabricated". They won't admit it, because then the rest of the polygraph is worthless.
It's my experience that most people violated weren't violated for "failing the poly", they were violated for not "completing the treatment program". Most states do prohibit using the results for a violation, so this is the work-around.
  

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Re: Polygraph is a fraud
Reply #13 - Aug 6th, 2003 at 10:21pm
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To be more precise, since you mentioned some things that only someone familiar with this stuff would know about, terminations were for failure to make satisfactory progress in treatment or failure to meet the terms and conditions of probation. The court can order someone into a treatment program, and one of the conditions for meeting T&C is successful completion of a treatment program. What does successful completement of a treatment program entail? Three guesses, and if you said one of them is successfully completing polygraph requirements (like passing a history and the last two maintenance exams), you guessed right.

To me, that shows the court is giving its tacit approval of the use of the polygraph, when, in fact, the results of a polygraph, with the exception of some conditions in the legal world that are not pertinent here, are not admissible. That's the big wink, wink, we can't use the results of a polygraph against you dealio. So if the court can't use or admit the results, how is it that a PO can sanction a client for failing an exam? Oh no, it isn't the court doing that, it's only an agent of the court doing that - our hands are clean.

As for the Lady's question, anything that provokes a physiological response, whether it is from something external (pain) or internal (being distracted, nervous, upset, emotional) while you're hooked up, where that response is different than what the control question response(s) looked like, can be scored as "Mr. So-and-so, in the expert opinion of this examiner, was deceptive on this question."
  
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Re: Polygraph is a fraud
Reply #14 - Aug 6th, 2003 at 11:13pm
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Mr. Truth,
As you surmised, I am quite knowledgeable about sex offender probation and the various "treatment" programs out there. These programs are quite successful, with the exception of the polygraph. As you alluded, the polygraph is in the treatment program because 1) the polygraphers (who invented the concept of post-conviction SO testing) needed the work after passage of the EPPA and lobbied heavily for it, and 2) the Corrections Departments wanted a way to violate people who were otherwise not doing anything wrong. Some therapists seem to think the polygraph has some validity and/or utility. But on a national level, mental health professionals are overwhelmingly opposed to the usage of polygraphs in treatment programs. A "therapist" who got a certificate in Mental Health Counseling down at the local tech school or community college will tend to support the polygraph, while those with Bachelors or higher degrees from universities tend to give it the credit any quackery is due, which is none.

I recall LadyDarkFlame's post from earlier this year. Her husband was on sex offender probation in Oregon, which is one of the toughest states in the country to complete such probation in.
To you, LDF, I advise that you have your husband appeal his revocation. Nothing will ever change if affected people don't speak up and fight for their rights. Did you ever contact that SO organization in Oregon I told you about before for help?
  

"Most of the things worth doing in the world had been declared impossible before they were done." &&U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis D. Brandeis
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